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The hidden supply of high-achieving, low-income students

VU International News and Reviews No. 17 November 11 2013

November 2013

Earlier this year, the researchers (Christopher Avery) published another report (with Caroline Hoxby from Stanford) demonstrating that high-achieving, low-income students typically fall into two groups: One group follows the normal application patters of application in which students apply a few to institutions at which they feel they belong, a few that they feel are slightly above their level, and a few `safe bets` below their own level. But the other group of high-achieving, low-income students only applies to non-selective HE institutions. The latter group tends to come from districts, too small to support selective

public high schools, are not in a critical mass of fellow high achievers, and are unlikely to encounter a teacher who attended a selective college.

The report shows that universities looking for these talents tend to focus their efforts on a very limited number of high schools and would be well advised to broaden their access & diversity programmes to a wider pool of smaller districts.

Report available through kees.kouwenaar@vu.nl.

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